Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
I suppose on a certain level running through all the loot you nabbed at this or that convention seems a bit like bragging, even if the intention is merely to say, “Hey, here’s some cool comics you should check out.” That being said, it seems like a while since anyone’s done one of those “here’s the stuff I bought” posts, so I thought I’d run down some of the more interesting-looking books I nabbed at SPX this past weekend. Forgive me.
The Body of Work by Kevin Huizenga. In addition to promoting the release of Ganges #4, Huizenga had a couple of mini-comics for sale as well. This one features some of the comics he’s been posting online like Postcard from Fielder.
Danger Country by Levon Jihanian. This is the first chapter of what feels like a rather ambitious fantasy series about warring factions, done in a spartan, but nicely detailed line. This was nominated for outstanding comic and oustanding mini comic this year, and chapter two is supposed to be released in October. File this under “promising.”
Lizzie’s Tail by Darryl Ayo. Ayo won the Promising New Talent Ignatz Award at the show, and reading this mini-comic, a surreal little jaunt about a woman who goes questing for a necklace, it’s not too hard to see why.
Color Engineering by Yuichi Yokoyama. The other big debut book at the Picturebox table. Yokoyama’s Garden has been my favorite book of 2011 so far, so there was no way I was going to pass the chance to nab this collection of color work, most of which seems to have even more of a pop art sensibility than his black and white work. Picturebox also had limited copies of this book available, which looked pretty sweet.
The Naked Heroes by Benjamin Marra. A light goof from Marra, apparently done as a favor for some musician friends, it concerns a tough-as-nails couple that enter an otherwordly bar and end up taking on a two-bodied demon monster and its hellspawn. Lots of blood and violence, as one would expect. At the show, Marra let it be known that he was working on the second issue of Gangsta Rap Posse, the plot of which sounded almost too awesome to be believed.
A Lion in Winter by Jiro Taniguchi. I always try to pick up at least one book at the Fanfare/Ponent Mon table, if only because tracking down their books in stores can be such a tricky proposition (although I should note it has gotten considerably better). This is their latest book, another entry from their top star Taniguichi, although this one, about a young man who attempts to start a career in manga, is apparently his most autobiographical work to date.
Pope Hats #2 by Ethan Rilly. My comics collection is in complete disarray right now so I can’t look at the first issue for comparision’s sake, but it seems like Rilly’s art has taken a huge leap forward, becoming looser, more assured and more detailed. A nice eurocomics vibe throughout. Look for a more thoughtful, official review to show up sometime in the near future.
Forming by Jesse Moynihan. Another fantasy-style graphic novel, though this tends to lean more towards the mythology side of things, as it deals with a bunch of Biblical/Greek/etc. godlike beings fighting and speaking in a modern idiom. I haven’t had a chance to do more than browse through this, but it certainly seems promising. NoBrow Press did a really nice job with the production here, and I think it’s fair to say it was one of the better looking books at the show. AdHouse had copies of these but they sold out rather quickly on Saturday.
Theories of Everything by Roz Chast. One of the things I like about SPX is how cartoonists outside the traditional indie comics community like Roz Chast and Ann Telnaes can fit in and be welcomed so easily. As I mentioned in my photo round-up, I’m a rather big Chast fan — honestly, I think she’s the best thing in the magazine these days; certainly the most idiosyncratic — so picking up this chunky “best of” collection of cartoons was kind of a no-brainer.